Following the surprise retirement of banjo player Jim Fraley earlier this month, Deeper Shade Of Blue has announced that Steve Wilson of Westminster, SC will become their new five string man.
It wasn’t a tough choice for the group, as Steve has been their go-to fill-in guy for the past year and a half. He knows the material, and the guys, and everyone gets along well together.
Wilson says that he is ready to take on this position, knowing he has big shoes to fill.
“I am very excited about what the future holds with these guys and humbled to have been chosen to step in where such an iconic musician is taking his exit. Jimmy Fraley has been a staple in not just this band, but the bluegrass music community as a whole and that is not something I take lightly. I’m looking forward to continuing forward with Deeper Shade, making great records and playing fun shows. This is a great fit for me as a banjo player and for my life.”
Steve is a busy guy in the bluegrass world. In addition to playing the banjo, he builds custom professional instruments as Wilson Banjo Company, utilizing skills he developed working in the Gibson Custom Shop. He had also founded a band with that same name, initially formed to showcase the sound of his banjos, but which has since become a popular performing group on its own. Then there is the recording studio where he produces and engineers bluegrass projects in South Carolina.
Though much of this season’s shows have been cancelled, Deeper Shade Of Blue is eager to get back out on stage, and anticipates seeing their fans and friends when live music picks back up in the near future. There are also plans to start work on a new album with Mountain Fever Records sometime later this year.
Here’s a look at Steve with the band back in January.